Newbie Question - CCNA

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I am A+ and Network+ certified, and am currently working on my BS in
Computer Science. Since my company is in a period of transition, I am
looking to add the CCNA to my resume to give me some leverage. My current
employer is willing to sell me a 2600 or 2501 router for cheap. Which one is
better/cheaper for getting started? (I am on a budget after all)

This question is loaded, but I will keep it short. When the everday person
hears router, we think of the modem-like box that has 4 or more ethernet
ports. To be technical, I understand that a router transfers data based on
IP address thereby eliminating broadcast and increasing performance. Having
read up on Cisco Routers in general, I don't think you can hook two
computers up to one and expect it to work properly, as in a traditional
router. From the reading I have done, it looks as if you hook up two
traditional routers to the Cisco Router. The basic question is, what is a
Cisco Router for? I have checked out Cisco's website and read the manual on
the 2500. I have also read various websites and read through's
test lab tutorial. I have a few Cisco books I bought in the bargain bin of
the local book store. Each source seems to set the router up with different
equipment so I am guessing you can configure it many different ways. I have
two computers and a DSL connection. I am looking to use the Cisco Router to
get both computers networked, and using the DSL connection to put this
network online. I am more concerned with what a Cisco's Router role is. Does
it only route between networks? Do I have to setup up each computer on it's
own network with it's own router?

Yes I know the question is to stupid; thanks for noticing.

Re: Newbie Question - CCNA

Also - based on your note, there are a few issues. The "Cisco Router"
is indeed a router. You seem to be thinking it might not be. It's a
router that meets all the relevant RFC support to be considered a

If you're studying at home, I wouldn't worry too much about buying
hardware. Spend your limited budget on a network simulator from one of
the publishers. Cisco Press has many. At least then, you know
everything on it is the latest and updated information.

If you want the router for home use then it's not a bad buy.
Practically-speaking though, you might be better off simply buying a
Linksys home network router.

Re: Newbie Question - CCNA

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Speaking of the network simulator, I have looked into those. Do they offer
as good an experience as having the actual hardware? I was wanting the
router for some hands on experience.Although I understand that only one
router may not be enough to get the full range of experience, it is a start.
At first, when you mentioned the  Linksys router, I thought you were saying
I could use it for some routing experience such as setting up a routing

Re: Newbie Question - CCNA

The simulators are pretty good. I've had some issues with software bugs
but overall the experience is a good one. It's a good way to get a
virtual network worth potentially hundres of thousands of dollars in
your "lab."

No no, the Linksys is just for your functional needs. The home office
gear really abstracts everything for you, so you likely won't learn too
much from it. I'd go for the simulators. I'm using the CCNA one right
now from Boson. It's a great way to learn routers and switches from a
hands-on perspective. It doesn't give you all available commands
offered on a real router or switch but those needed to learn the
fundamentals. I'm hoping the CCNP simulator gives a lot more commands.

Re: Newbie Question - CCNA

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I must say that this newsgroup on the whole, seems much more helpful than
other newsgroups. Perhaps it is just the CCNA community as a whole. When I
was considering the MCSE, the community as a whole seemed to be very
unsupportive. That is just my experience.

Re: Newbie Question - CCNA

Just fwiw:

If you want the router to use as a CCNA lab, don't use it to run your
home system. Get the Linksys for that.

However, to get the full benefit of the router in a lab setup, you need
two; so you can connect their serial interfaces together and watch
routing tables propogate. That's what routing's all about. As
mentioned, you'll need the DCE/DTE cable for this.

You can also look at 'CCNA Lab Kit' setups on Ebay, where all the
pieces are sold in one package, or renting time on a 'pod' online.

I personally got lucky, my company had a couple of old 2513's sitting
around collecting dust. I bought a cable and have an almost free lab
running on my desk at work :)

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